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Cell Phones for Kids?

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What Age Would You Allow Your Daughter or Son To Have A Cell Phone?  And what restrictions would you put on its use?

 

Joann April 06, 2011 at 05:09 PM
We got our son one before entering middle school, I think more of a piece of mind for myself, than the "everyone has one" . He can contact me when needed, such as missing the bus, last minute need to stay at school, pick me up at..yes he uses it to txt also and go on the web, so I thankfully have the unlimited plan, but he also knows easy come easy go with it, He is pretty good about it. I think it's a personal decision that you need to make with yourself and child. And I can truly testify" not everyone has one ......in middle school" :-)
K Allen April 06, 2011 at 05:13 PM
Our oldest had one starting at age 6 when traveling, but he doesn't use it regularly. I feel that if it's for safety then any age is fine, but I don't think kids should have them at school. Not much difference between a cell phone and a regular phone these days IMO, and if kids can use a regular phone, they may as well use a cell phone and many do. As for who pays for an extra phone for a kid(s), well I feel that depends on a family's finances and the age of the child who has it. As with any technology I think it's up to the parents to make sure it's being used appropriately and responsibly.
Maureen Neiberger April 06, 2011 at 05:24 PM
At my children's ages (7 and 6) - I don't see a need. They are always either with my husband or me, at school, or with other trusted adults (playdates, babysittters, coaches etc.). I will say that my seven year old has already started asking for one but I'm sure that is more a function of seeing peers with them. I would imagine we'd be more inclined to provide a cell phone as they get a bit older and are more independent so we do have the piece of mind concerning whereabouts and safety. When they do get one, there will be very clear guidelines and expectations for it's appropriate use.
John Pearson April 06, 2011 at 05:30 PM
I'd say 11. I don't see much need for kids in elementary school to have cell phones. At this age the parent must know where the kids are at all times. By middle school, kids are becoming more independent. Cell phones are a communication tool to support this. By high school, I'd imagine cell phones are pretty standard.
Samantha McGarry April 06, 2011 at 08:24 PM
I agree with John. No earlier than 11 or 12. And with a very very limited plan.
Gina Fishman April 06, 2011 at 09:45 PM
I agree with Maureen 100% -- my two daughters are either with me, my husband, school or a trusted adult. There is NO NEED for them to have a phone while in elementary school, and when they do get a phone (maybe middle school?), there will be limitations.
Heidi Zizza April 06, 2011 at 10:09 PM
It depends on the age. My middle school girls got them last year and it has been very helpful with sports etc.. Younger kids are always with a parent or trusted adult so it's not as necessary.
Patty Ames April 07, 2011 at 08:58 AM
I fully agree with Maureen and Gina...I've been asked about this by my 7 yr old and my standard answer is: "When you get a J-O-B!" For me, the two go hand in hand. If she gets any sort of standard job (e.g., babysitting, walking a dog, retail) in middle school or beyond and wants to put money towards a cell phone, then she has shown me responsibility and has earned it. And yes, it would be something of a limited plan as well.
Cynthia Turner April 07, 2011 at 07:07 PM
*Perhaps* we may get one for our older daughter, who turns 11 this month, in the near future. However, I don't see much need for it. The only time she is without an adult is on short bike rides, walks, or sent into an adjacent store to help run errands, in which case there are employees. If she were to get one for the not often use, it would be programmed with 911, our numbers, relatives, and a few adult friends and it would be for urgency/emergency, not chatting. Far as paying, we would pay up until she is 15 at which point she is expected to be employeed at a job outside of pet and child care (unless pet care is her full blown business). At that time she can add phone numbers. :)
Susan Petroni (Editor) April 07, 2011 at 08:07 PM
As a parent too, I love hearing everyone's thoughts. My daughter, who is 9, tells me some of the kids in her elementary school have a phone. She has been asking for one since second grade. I have told her we will discuss it when she gets to middle school, as I know she likely get involved in the after school activities and there is no late bus at the middle schools. IMO, in elementary I don't see much of a need for a child to have a phone, but then again she tells me she is not a child but a "tween."

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